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11 Things to Do in Maizuru, Kyoto By the Sea: From Scenic Spots to Cruises and Seafood

11 Things to Do in Maizuru, Kyoto By the Sea: From Scenic Spots to Cruises and Seafood

Date published: 13 June 2023

Kyoto Prefecture runs long from north to south, and sitting on its north side facing the Sea of Japan is Maizuru, in an area nicknamed “Kyoto By the Sea.”

It once prospered as the base of the Imperial Japanese Navy, through which modern culture was introduced before most Japanese cities. Even 120 years later, Maizuru remains full of historical buildings, like the red brick warehouses that once served the navy.

It is now a base for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and visitors can enjoy spotting Aegis warships, destroyers, and more up close.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the best of Maizuru, including tips on where to take spectacular photos of the warehouses and battleships, and what fresh seafood you should try!

Table of Contents
  1. What Sort of Place Is Kyoto’s Maizuru?
  2. How to Get to Maizuru From Kyoto and Osaka
  3. 11 Best Things to Do in Maizuru
  4. Recommended 2-Day Maizuru Itinerary
  5. Recommended Hotels in Maizuru

What Sort of Place Is Kyoto’s Maizuru?

Maizuru Red Brick Park
Maizuru Red Brick Park

For many, Kyoto is equal to Kyoto City, which was once the ancient capital of Japan. However, Kyoto is also a large prefecture, full of different cities with unique cultures. For example, tea-growing regions are south of Kyoto City, while idyllic countryside towns and forests characterize the north. In contrast, further north is the Sea of Japan, whose coast is lined by idyllic seaside towns.

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

In this article, we’ll focus on Maizuru, on the seaside of Kyoto Prefecture. Maizuru is split between East Maizuru and West Maizuru by Mt. Gorogatake. East Maizuru is dotted by remnants of the Imperial Japanese Navy, including the iconic red brick warehouses, and has a distinctly Western feel to it. The main roads here have names like Mikasa, Shikishima, and Asahi, named after Japanese battleships, which are a rarity in Japan.

West Maizuru developed around Tanabe Castle, whose castle lord was famous for his “waka,” a form of Japanese poetry. This difference in histories essentially led to East Maizuru and West Maizuru having their own unique atmospheres. However, both are nearby, so visiting all their sights in a single day is easy.

Maizuru Bay is also an intricate ria inlet flaunting magnificent scenery able to be enjoyed in several ways, like on boat cruises or from lookout towers and bridges. Plus, if you’re looking for more to do, Maizuru is an excellent base to reach other sights like Amanohashidate and the boathouses of Ine on a day trip.

The auction at the fishing port.
The auction at the fishing port.

Cruise ships dock at Kyoto Maizuru Port, so you’ll often see large groups of international tourists in the area. In addition to the sights, many visit Maizuru for its food, particularly seafood, which is abundant in the region owing to the mixing of warm and cold currents off the coast.

Numerous fishmongers throughout the city sell a stellar section of seafood, and dishes using fresh fish can be enjoyed at restaurants. The firm meat of crab caught in winter is particularly delicious, and locals from across the Kansai region will make the trip just for a taste.

How to Get to Maizuru From Kyoto and Osaka

1. Train
■From JR Kyoto Station:
・Approx. 1 hour and 40-minute train ride to Higashi-Maizuru Station on the “Maizuru” direct limited express train. Tickets are 1,980 yen, with reserved seats 2,390 yen.
・Alternatively, take the “Kinosaki” limited express train and change to a local train on the Maizuru Line at Ayabe Station until Higashi-Maizuru Station (approx. 1 hour and 50 minutes). Tickets are 1,980 yen, with reserved seats 1,730 yen.

■From JR Osaka Station:
・Approx. 2 hours and 20 minutes via Kyoto Station.
・Alternatively, take the Kounotori limited express train and change to a local train on the Maizuru Line at Fukuchiyama Station until Higashi-Maizuru Station (approx. 2 hours and 40 minutes). Tickets are 2,640 yen, with reserved seats 2,390 yen.

2. Highway Bus
・Approx. 2-hour ride on the “Umi no Kyoto Maizuru Akarenga Express” highway bus to Higashi-Maizuru Station, which departs from the Karasuma Exit of JR Kyoto Station and goes via Nishi-Maizuru Station. The fare depends on the distinct, but it will be 2,450 yen from the Karasuma Exit of JR Kyoto Station to Higashi-Maizuru Station. Reservations are required.
・Alternatively, take the bus from JR Osaka (Umeda) Station to Higashi-Maizuru Station, which will take around 2 hours via Nishi-Maizuru Station. It will cost 2,450 yen from Umeda to Higashi-Maizuru Station. However, there are only two services both ways, in the morning and evening, so be aware of this when planning. Reservations are required.

Getting Around Maizuru

There are local buses within Maizuru, which we recommend using to get around the city. However, some attractions are unreachable by bus, like the Goro Sky Tower, so you may need to take a taxi. However, the best option is to rent a car for the day.

Rental Car Shops
Higashi Maizuru: ORIX Rent-a-Car Higashi Maizuru
・Address: 13-20 Morimachi, Maizuru (2-minute walk from Higashi-Maizuru Station South Exit)
・TEL: 0773-64-0039

Nishi Maizuru: TOYOTA Rent a Car Maizuru Shop
・Address: 18 Orihara, Hikitsuchi, Maizuru (in front of Nishi-Maizuru Station)
・TEL: 0773-75-8100

11 Best Things to Do in Maizuru

Maizuru is a destination to experience gorgeous natural scenery and early-modern Japanese culture. To help you plan your Maizuru itinerary, here are our picks for the best spots in the city!

1. Maizuru Repatriation Memorial Museum: Learn About the History of Repatriation, Registered as a UNESCO Memory of the World

1. Maizuru Repatriation Memorial Museum: Learn About the History of Repatriation, Registered as a UNESCO Memory of the World

The Maizuru Repatriation Memorial Museum is located along National Route 21, a 15-minute drive from JR Higashi-Maizuru Station.

Maizuru Port was one of 18 locations where around 6.6 million Japanese citizens stationed overseas in WWII were repatriated starting from 1945. Most of these boats came from Manchuria, the Korean Peninsula, and the Soviet Union, and 660,000 people returned to Japan here over a period of 14 years until 1958.

This museum displays materials explaining this history, and there are English and Chinese (traditional) pamphlets, plus exhibits with English explanations. There are also touch panels that can be set to English, Russian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), and Korean.

A recreation of a room in a gulag.
A recreation of a room in a gulag.

Also inside the museum is a recreation of a room in a gulag, where Japanese prisoners of war in the Soviet Union were held, along with displays of cutlery made from scrap wood, clothes and shoes, and other authentic items from the period, some of which you can touch.

The Shirakaba Diary
The Shirakaba Diary

One of the biggest highlights is the Shirakaba Diary, a registered UNESCO Memory of the World item. This diary was written with a pen cut from an empty can, ink of soot from the chimney, and bark from a white birch tree. It details the thoughts and daily life of the detainees through poetry and haiku.

Another saddening exhibit is the story of Ise Hashino, a mother who waited for her son to return to Maizuru, but who never did. Her story inspired the song and film “Ganpeki no Haha” (Mother at the Wharf), which was a hit even overseas.

  • Maizuru Repatriation Memorial Museum
    舞鶴引揚記念館
    • Address Hikiage Memorial Park, 1584 Taira, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 625-0133
    • Phone Number 0773-68-0836
    • ・Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (entry until 4:30 pm)
      ・Admission: 400 yen (adults), 150 yen (students from elementary school to university)
      *Combined Red Brick Museum ticket: 600 yen (adults), 200 yen (students)
      ・Closed: Wednesdays (or the following weekday if Wednesday is a holiday), New Year holidays (Dec 29 - Jan 1)

2. Maizuru Red Brick Park: Shop and Tour Historical Buildings Used as Film Locations

2. Maizuru Red Brick Park: Shop and Tour Historical Buildings Used as Film Locations

Maizuru Red Brick Park is a 20-minute walk from JR Higashi-Maizuru Station and is on National Route 27. The park consists of fantastically preserved red brick warehouses made for the navy, and 8 of the 12 structures are registered as Important Cultural Properties of Japan. Several are now open to the public as museums and shops.

The Information Center is located in Warehouse No.2, where you can pick up English pamphlets, and get guidance from English-speaking staff. Right next to it is “Cafe Jazz,” which serves meals based on recipes from the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Cafe Jazz
・TEL: 0773-63-7177
・Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (last order at 4:00 pm)
*Lunch is from 10:30 am - 3:00 pm

Warehouse No.3 has a shop selling all sorts of souvenirs, including the famous “navy curries,” which were once eaten by those in the navy stationed in Maizuru. The “Kaigun-san’s Curry” (896 yen) is a pre-packaged, instant curry based on a recipe from the Imperial Japanese Navy, while the “Maizuru Kaiji Curry” (748 yen) recreates a meal in the current Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

There is also the addictive spicy “Maizuru Curry Rice Crackers” (540 yen) and “Love Letter to the Maizuru Red Brick Warehouses,” which are biscuits in an adorable package (648 yen), plus loads more!

The “Maizuru Cloisonne Kasane Bookmark” (500 yen each), which are hand-made with “raden” mother of pearl crafting techniques, is very popular with overseas visitors.
(*All prices include tax.)

Warehouse No.1 hosts the world’s only museum dedicated to bricks, called the “Red Brick Museum.” This warehouse was built in 1903 to store torpedoes, and is registered as an Important Cultural Property for being one of the oldest steel frame brick buildings in Maizuru.

Within the museum is a collection of bricks from across the world dating from ancient times until now. Pamphlets are available in English, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, and Korean.

  • Maizuru Red Brick Park
    赤れんが博物館
    • Address 1039-2 Kitasui, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 625-0080
    • Phone Number 0773-66-1096
    • ・Admission: 400 yen (adults), 150 yen (students from elementary school to university)
      *Combined Maizuru Repatriation Memorial Museum ticket: 600 yen (adults), 200 yen (students)
      ・Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (entry until 4:30 pm)
      ・Closed: New Year holidays (Dec 29 to Jan 1)
      ・Access: Approx. 20-minute walk from JR Higashi-Maizuru Station, or take a bus bound for Kyoto Kotsu Nishi-Maizuru Station, and get off at “Shiyakusho-mae (Maizuru),” and walk one minute.

3. Maizuru Bay Sightseeing Boat: See Impressive Battleships Up Close!

3. Maizuru Bay Sightseeing Boat: See Impressive Battleships Up Close!

No trip to Maizuru is complete without a cruise on a sightseeing boat, which will take you around Maizuru Bay in 35 minutes. The boats depart from a boarding point in the Maizuru Red Brick Park, and if you’re lucky, you may even see a helicopter depart from the JMSDF Maizuru Air Base. Along the way, you’ll spot all kinds of facilities invisible from the land, such as the shipyard and more.

However, the highlight is witnessing the anchored Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships, like Destroyers and replenishment oilers, which the boat will get right up next to and let passengers take in their true scale! You may even see them moving around the bay, depending on the time. Maizuru Bay itself is also gorgeous and is backed by mountains that change color depending on the season, all visible from the cruise boat.

Passenger tickets can be purchased at the Maizuru Red Brick Park ticket booth. The cruise will generally run even if it’s raining but may be canceled if the weather is very poor. Check online at the official website to see if there are any cancellations.

Cruises board around 15 minutes before the departure time, and run for around 35 minutes. Seats onboard are all unreserved, and are first come first served. The onboard toilet is for emergencies only, so please use the facilities at the Maizuru Red Brick Park before boarding.

  • Maizuru Bay Sightseeing Boat
    海軍ゆかりの港めぐり遊覧船
    • Address 1039-2 Kitasui, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 625-0080
    • ・TEL: 090-5978-8711 (Maizuru Red Brick Park Sightseeing Boat Office)
      ・Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
      ・Closed: New Year holidays *See official website for details.
      ・Admission: 1,500 yen (adults), 800 yen (3-12)
      ・Period: March 18 - December 10, 2023
      ・Monday-Friday: 3 cruises per day
      ・Weekends, holidays, Golden Week, and Obon: 6 cruises per day
      *Please check the official website for information on times, etc., during the winter season
      ・Details and reservations: https://maizuru-kanko.net/recommend/cruise

4. Gorogatake Park: 360-Degree Panoramas of Maizuru Bay and the Mountains

4. Gorogatake Park: 360-Degree Panoramas of Maizuru Bay and the Mountains

Gorogatake Park is located on Mt. Gorogatake, which sits roughly in the center of Maizuru, and is famed for its stunning scenery, which was selected as No.1 in the “100 Views of the Kinki Region.”

From the summit, you can see the stunning ria coastline and the Maizuru cityscape all in one sweeping panorama, with seas of clouds often hovering over the area in the early mornings of certain times of the year.

The best place to take in this magnificence is from the Goro Sky Tower, which grants visitors 360-degree lookouts. You can reach the park in around 15 minutes by taxi from JR Nishi-Maizuru Station or Higashi-Maizuru Station.

On the 1st floor of the nearby building is the GORO SKY CAFÉ nanako, where you can take in the scenery while chowing down on meals like the “Nikujaga Korokke Hamburger” (800 yen), or the “Destroyer Myoko Beef Curry” (1,500 yen). The menu has pictures of each item, so you don’t have to worry if you can’t read Japanese. Takeout is also available.

■GORO SKY CAFÉ nanako
・TEL: 0773-63-0414
・Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (last order 30 minutes before closing)

  • Gorogatake Park/Goro Sky Tower
    五老ヶ岳公園/五老スカイタワー
    • Address 237 Ueyasu, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 624-0912
    • Phone Number 0773-66-2582
    • ・Hours:
      - April-November: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm (weekends and holidays until 9:00 pm)
      - December - March: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
      *Admission until 30 minutes before closing
      Closed: Open daily

5. Yoshiwara: Peek Into the Quiet Lives of Locals at This Old Fishing Village

5. Yoshiwara: Peek Into the Quiet Lives of Locals at This Old Fishing Village

Yoshiwara is an old-fashioned fishing village at the mouth of the Isazu River, a 10-minute taxi ride from JR Nishi-Maizuru Station. Lots of boats are anchored along the narrow inlet, and visitors will have the rare chance to look deep into the authentic, non-touristy fishing culture and businesses that have developed here.

Some have even called it the “Venice of Japan,” and it has recently seen newfound popularity amongst travelers to Maizuru.

The small lanes are lined by narrow yet long houses with a frontage of around 5 meters and depth of 10 meters, which is where the locals live. The area boasts a history stretching back to the Edo period, and its atmosphere remains practically unchanged, making it a popular choice for directors seeking out realistic locations to shoot their films. The residents are kind and welcoming, but be careful to sightsee without getting in the way.

The Hinodeyu Public Bath was founded by the local neighborhood association in 1897, and has been passed down by successive owners since 1920. It is registered as a Cultural Property of Japan, and its vintage architecture remains perfectly preserved. The first floor holds gender-separated baths, and the second has a traditional tatami room. It only opens between 4:30 pm - 8:00 pm, and is closed on Saturday, so you’ll have to plan well to get the timing right, but the blissful experience is worthwhile!

■Hinodeyu Public Bath
・297-2 Higashiyoshihara, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 624-0921
・TEL: 0773-75-0366
・Closed: Saturday

  • Yoshiwara Inlet
    吉原入江
    • Address Higashiyoshihara, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 624-0921

6. Shoeikan: Relish Curry From the Imperial Japanese Navy

Navy Curry Rice (1,000 yen)
Navy Curry Rice (1,000 yen)

Shoeikan is a 10-15-minute walk north of JR Higashi-Maizuru Station, passing through a retro “shotengai” shopping arcade on the way. This restaurant has faithfully recreated curry dishes eaten by the Imperial Japanese Navy, which have a fragrant spiciness and savory flavor that is surprisingly delectable!

The Imperial Japanese Navy mainly served curry rice, which has a good balance of meat and vegetables and was designed to supplement a lack of vitamin B1 to eliminate beriberi disease, afflicting much of the world during this time. Wheat was mixed with the rice, and the ingredients were cut into chunky blocks for a more satisfying bite. It was then served with a cup of milk, all designed to promote healthy soldiers.

This is a recipe book for the troops in charge of cooking, published in 1908. In addition to curry rice, it contains around 200 recipes for meals, including Western dishes, which Japanese people were not yet used to at the time, and for both traditional Japanese and Western confectionery. The original manuscript was kept at the JMSDF 4th Service School in Maizuru, and you can buy a copy for yourself at Shoeikan (650 yen).

This building was constructed as an annex to the Shoeikan Ryokan. It opened in 1904 and was used by numerous individuals from the Imperial Japanese Navy, including Togo Heihachiro, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Maizuru Naval District. The two-story wooden building showcases a unique blend of Japanese and Western modern architecture and has also been used as a film location.

  • Shoeikan
    松栄館
    • Address 18 Hama, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 625-0036
    • ・TEL: 0773-65-5007 (5:30 pm - 8:00 pm) (if outside hours, call 0773-65-5000)
      ・Hours: 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm (last order at 7:30 pm)
      ・Closed: None
      ・Access: Approx. 1 kilometer from JR Higashi-Maizuru Station, and within a kilometer of Maizuru Red Brick Park.

7. Dairokumaru: Fresh Seafood Cooked Right in Front of You!

7. Dairokumaru: Fresh Seafood Cooked Right in Front of You!

Dairokumaru is around two kilometers from JR Nishi-Maizuru Station, located along National Route 175. If coming by car, you can park at the car park next door. Dairokumaru is visited by travelers far and wide keen for a helping of their famous fresh and seasonal seafood. It is a fishmonger with an accompanying food hall run by a broker from Maizuru Port.

We recommend the “Fresh Sashimi Set,” which has an assortment of eight kinds of sashimi for 1,650 yen. Start by relishing their individual flavors, then put the rest on top of the rice and make yourself a scrumptious seafood bowl! The set also comes with miso soup, prepared from rich fish stock, and Japanese-style pickles. The fried fish set is also a delight for those unused to raw fish.

For just an extra 200 yen, the staff will also cook up whatever seafood you buy from the store on a charcoal grill, including a wide range of fish and squid, scallops, and turban shells. The combined freshness of the ingredients and the mouthwatering fragrance of the roasting charcoal makes for an irresistible combination. You can wash it down with beer, sake, or non-alcoholic drinks for those driving.

Dairokumaru is very popular and can be crowded even on weekdays. Write down your name on the waiting list, and use the time to look at the fish on display in the shop and decide what you want to eat. There is a menu with pictures posted inside, and you can use a translation app (like Google Translate) to see what each item is, and point the staff to what you’d like to order.

  • Dairokumaru
    大六丸
    • Address 2-16 Shimofukui, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 624-0946
    • Phone Number 0773-76-8939
    • ・Hours: 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
      ・Closed: Tuesdays

8. Maizuru Port Tore Tore Center: A Roadside Rest Area With Lots of Seafood to Enjoy!

8. Maizuru Port Tore Tore Center: A Roadside Rest Area With Lots of Seafood to Enjoy!

Maizuru Port Tore Tore Center is a roadside rest area on National Route 175, around two kilometers from Nishi-Maizuru Station. It has 208 parking spaces, including those for large-sized buses, and boasts numerous facilities, including eateries and toilets. Many traveling from Maizuru in the direction of Tango and Wakasa will stop here for a rest and feed.

Within the Tore Tore Center are lots of fishmongers selling fresh seafood at great prices. You can buy your chosen seafood raw as sashimi or have them cook it up, and tuck into it at the rest space.

There are also stores selling processed foods, like dried fish, kamaboko fish cakes, and canned seafood, which will last a while and make great souvenirs. You’ll also find all sorts of authentic goods from northern Kyoto, making it a great place to stock up on souvenirs.

You can also eat sushi, BBQ, donburi, and ample other meals taking full advantage of Maizuru’s second-to-none seafood!

  • Maizuru Port Tore Tore Center Roadside Rest Area
    道の駅 舞鶴港とれとれセンター
    • Address 905 Shimofukui, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 624-0946
    • Phone Number 0773-75-6125
    • ・Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, weekends and national holidays: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm (changes depending on season)
      ・Closed: Wednesday

9. Matsukichi: Dinner at a Third-Generation Traditional Japanese Restaurant

The Anago Meshi Set (3,500 yen, excluding tax)
The Anago Meshi Set (3,500 yen, excluding tax)

Matsukichi can be reached after a 10-15 minute walk via the shotengai from JR Higashi-Maizuru Station, and parking is available in front of the restaurant for those driving. Matsukichi was established in 1970 by one of the chefs that worked at Shoeikan, and is currently run by the 2nd and 3rd generations owners.

Here you’ll be able to tuck into a set of rice topped with “anago” conger eel, complete with helpings of sashimi, stewed seasonal vegetables, nikujaga, and more, all cooked from a base of local ingredients.

Togo Heihachiro, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Maizuru Naval District, never forgot the taste of the beef stew he ate while studying in England, and told a chef to cook a meal with “stewed potatoes, onions, and carrots,” which he then flavored with sugar and soy sauce.

This turned out delicious, and was added to the navy’s menu, leading to the modern dish of nikujaga, which now features on the menu at many restaurants in Maizuru.

The Tempura Set (1,600 yen, excluding tax)
The Tempura Set (1,600 yen, excluding tax)

We recommend ordering the tempura to fully enjoy the goodness of local vegetables, fish, and other ingredients. Dip them into the tempura sauce, and eat them while they’re hot. Each season sees new ingredients in the lineup so you can rediscover the set at different times of the year.

Crab cuisine is the main appeal between November and March, while you can also try pufferfish from October until March. Just remember to make a reservation before visiting.

The restaurant has eight counter seats and a tatami space with private rooms where you can take off your shoes and dine in peace at tables and chairs rather than sitting on the floor. Energetic fish swim around in the restaurant’s fish tank, filled with slow-moving Matsuba crab in winter.

Being a family-run business, it abounds with cozy warmth, and foreign diners are welcome to order by pointing to the pictures in the menu, or via a translation app. Plus, the restaurant is also right near Hotel Amabile Maizuru, making it a convenient choice for dinner.

  • Matsukichi
    割烹 松きち
    • Address 150 Hama, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 625-0036
    • Phone Number 0773-63-3595
    • ・Hours: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
      ・Closed: Irregularly

10. Totogen East-Maizuru: Pair Fish With Sake While Gazing Upon the Ocean Lights

10. Totogen East-Maizuru: Pair Fish With Sake While Gazing Upon the Ocean Lights

Totogen East-Maizuru is a 15-minute walk from Higashi-Maizuru Station, across the street from Hotel Bellemare. Here, chefs cook Japanese dishes from fresh seafood hauled into Maizuru Port and purchased by brokers at the market auction.

Each season presents a unique bounty from the Sea of Japan, like blackthroat seaperch in spring and summer, rock oysters in summer, and Japanese amberjack and crab in winter, which can be enjoyed as sashimi, flavored with dressings, fried, served with rice as donburi or sushi, and more.

The restaurant seats face the ocean, and the scenery from the large windows is spectacular, with the fishing boats and navy ships viewable during the day, and their twinkling lights at night creating a whimsical atmosphere.

Complementing the wide range of cuisine is a hefty sake lineup, sourced from brewing regions all across Japan. This includes rare local brews and limited edition seasonal sake, making it just as popular with sake lovers as those who adore seafood. After your main meal, you can order some light finger food to pair with the sake, and sample the differences between regions.

Totogen East-Maizuru opened in 2019 as the second branch of Totogen West-Maizuru, which is run by a fishmonger with over 80 years of history. The interior is wide and spacious, and there is both counter, table, and tatami seating.

  • Totogen East-Maizuru
    魚源 東舞鶴店
    • Address 47-11 Hama, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 625-0036
    • Phone Number 0773-63-0700
    • ・Hours: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (last food order 9:00 pm, last drinks 9:30 pm)
      ・Closed: Wednesdays

11. Maizuru Kamaboko Factory: Make Your Own Fishcake!

11. Maizuru Kamaboko Factory: Make Your Own Fishcake!

Maizuru Kamaboko Factory is a 5-minute taxi ride from JR Nishi-Maizuru Station, and is near the mouth of the west bank of the Isazu River. The factory produces “kamaboko” fish cakes, which are handmade using their unique cooking method from high-quality minced fish forgoing any added preservatives. You can even try making your own kamaboko under the guidance of an expert teacher.

While the teacher explains the history and characteristics of Maizuru kamaboko, you’ll work on cooking up your own one-of-a-kind, homemade kamaboko, which will take around 90 minutes. You can choose between three different styles: kamaboko, chikuwa, and hiraten.

With such great ingredients, no matter your skill, your own freshly-made kamaboko will taste amazing! There is no foreign language support, but international tourists do join the workshop, and it’s easy to follow along by copying the teacher.

You’ll be required to meet up at the factory 10 minutes before the workshop, so make sure you leave plenty of time.

  • Maizuru Kamaboko Factory Workshop
    舞鶴かまぼこ手作り体験工房
    • Address 1013-11 Shimoagu, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto 624-0914
    • ・TEL: 0773-77-5400 (Maizuru Tourism Association for bookings/inquiries), 0773-75-0865 (Kamaboko Association for contact on the day)
      ・Admission: 2,500 yen per person
      ・Cancellations: 50% one/two days before, 100% day of workshop
      ・Booking website: https://maizuru-kanko.net/archives/experience/1338
      ・Booking required at least 4 days before workshop, minimum 3 participants required
      ・Workshop time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
      ・Closed: Dec 10 - Jan 10

Recommended 2-Day Maizuru Itinerary

Day One
・Arrive at Higashi-Maizuru Station or Nishi-Maizuru Station (get around by rental car or taxi)
・Goro Sky Tower
・Lunch at Dairokumaru or Tore Tore Center
・Stroll around Yoshiwara
・Kamaboko-making experience
・Dinner at Totogen/Matsukichi/Shoeikan
・Stay the night

Day Two
・Maizuru Repatriation Memorial Museum
・Maizuru Red Brick Park
・Cruise
・Leave from Higashi-Maizuru Station or Nishi-Maizuru Station

Recommended Hotels in Maizuru

  • Hotel Arstainn
    • Address Minamihamacho 20-5, Maizuru, Kyoto, 625-0057
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Higashimaizuru Station (JR Obama Line / JR Maizuru Line)
      2 minutes on foot

    Vacancy search, reservation

    • Please enquire directly about rates.

    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

  • GATEWAY MAIZURU
    • Address 字溝尻小字浜田150-11 まなびあむ 4F, Maizuru, Kyoto, 625-0035
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Higashimaizuru Station (JR Obama Line / JR Maizuru Line)
      14 minutes on foot

    Vacancy search, reservation

    • Please enquire directly about rates.

    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

Lovingly nicknamed “Kyoto by the Sea,” Maizuru is a place to experience early modern Japanese culture tied to the legacy of the navy, as well as abundant natural splendor, stunning scenery, mouthwatering seafood cuisine, and more. Add one more stop outside of Kyoto City to your Kyoto trip and experience a new side of Kyoto culture!

*The information in this article is current as of June 2023. Please check the official websites for the latest information.

Written by:

WESTPLAN

WESTPLAN

Kiko Matsuda, Keiko Kimura, Risa Tsuji, and a team of female writers familiar with Kansai. We love eating, drinking and traveling! We share fun information based on our experiences.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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